Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Tracey Dalton


Negotiated rulemaking is a decision-making process that has been integrated into U.S. regulatory processes within the last three decades. Amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1994 mandated the creation of Take Reduction Teams, stakeholder committees that use negotiated rulemaking to develop regulations to reduce marine mammal interactions with commercial fishing operations. The largest and least successful of these teams is the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (ALWTRT), which is tasked with developing regulatory measures to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale, as well as other large whale species. This study used semi-structured interviews with members of the ALWTRT to gain insight into the aspects of the take reduction process that limit the team’s ability to reach consensus and limit stakeholder satisfaction. While some aspects of the process are effective at promoting agreement, respondents revealed many factors that make consensus agreements difficult and the overall process unrewarding. Results suggest that the malaise that negotiated rulemaking was intended to remedy is still prevalent and that legislative action may be required to create more collaborative, legitimate and successful participatory process.



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